Cheers to Professor Norm, who alerts me to an ongoing controversy that had passed me by - apparently, some think that the use of modern technology is blunting people's ability to read and appreciate novels.
Well, I have to say that this seems like a rather Luddite take on the issue. I've studied English for years, and fancy myself rather well-read and erudite. I'm a holy terror to trees... I can't tolerate travelling, sitting around or even a quick cigarette outside without something to read.
Now, it's fair to say that the distractions of my new Playstation 3 and broadband connection have cut into my reading time, but with the world's media at my fingertips I'm as voracious as ever and I'm constantly learning. In just the first three months after I bought my laptop, I estimate that I learned roughly 1500 separate terms for male and female genitalia, and around ten thousand for eye-popping uses to which they can be put.
Not only that, but I discovered all kinds of exciting stuff, like - did you know that NASA never actually landed a man on the moon? It was totally all, like, shot in this studio in the Nevada desert, and that's why they framed OJ Simpson for those murders, because he was in Capricorn One and was totally trying to expose the conspiracy.
Plus, 9/11 was an inside job, and it was the same plane that hit both towers.
Anyway, new technology opens up a whole world of exceptional literature. I've been fragging motherfuckers all day on Call of Duty 4 and now I totally appreciate the dramatic tension, tender poeticism and kickass throat-ripping action of Bravo Two-Zero.
I think Shakespeare would approve.